The New Yorker explores fictional foreboding.CreditILLUSTRATION BY R. In most suspenseful stories, we actually know what will happen; we expect the killer to be hiding where we least expect him. “The Background Hum,” our Profile of McEwan, is one of them; below, you’ll find more, each exploring a unique world of fictional foreboding, plus a few other pieces related to the broader world of suspense. “A Gay Mystery Novelist Who Chronicles the Aftermath of AIDS,” by Garth Greenwell (September 11, 2015): On the writer Michael Nava. Over the years, The New Yorker has published dozens of pieces about suspenseful writers and their books. “Crime Pays,” by Joan Acocella (October 10, 2011): On the fiction of Georges Simenon. All the same, a good writer can make us forget what we know. .” “Think Twice,” by John Lanchester (November 14, 2016): How Lee Child created Jack Reacher. “Pure Evil,” by Lee Siegel (May 12, 2014): Jo Nesbø and the rise of Scandinavian crime fiction. “Mystery Meal,” by Jeffrey Toobin (January 14, 2013): A visit to the monthly mystery-writers dinner attended by Harlan Coben, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Black, and others. We hope you enjoy them. “Man of Mystery,” by Joan Acocella (January 10, 2011): Why we love Stieg Larsson and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” “Queen of Crime,” by Joan Acocella (August 16, 2010): How Agatha Christie created the modern murder mystery. “True Crime,” by David Grann (February 11, 2008): A mystery writer says his novel is a work of fiction; a detective is convinced that it describes a real crime. KIKUO JOHNSON
Suspense in fiction is a little mysterious. “Private Eyes,” by Jon Lee Anderson (October 21, 2013): Leonardo Padura’s crime fiction explores the reality of modern Cuba. “Try to Remember,” by Laura Miller (October 3, 2016): The intimate suspense of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. In his 2009 Profile of Ian McEwan, Daniel Zalewski describes the author of “Atonement” as “a connoisseur of dread,” who performs “the literary equivalent of turning on the tub faucet and leaving the room; the flood is foreseeable, but it still shocks when the water rushes over the edge.” Tales of suspense are addictive in part because, no matter how worldly we are, they return us to innocence. “Mystery Novels Inspired by a Co-Working Space,” by Zain Khalid (March 6, 2017): “Ten strangers are lured to a co-working space under false pretenses… “Mysterious Circumstances,” by David Grann (December 13, 2004): The strange death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic.